Gold prospecting


"Gold prospecting" is available in paper format on the international market. It is a work that contains considerable topics and contents related to the prospecting of gold resources, with particular attention to those of alluvial nature.




The photographic guide: "Gold prospecting" by Matteo Oberto (first edition) [380 pages] is available printed at:


Italy & Europe: 

Gold Prospecting (

Gold Prospecting (


The photographic guide: "Secondary gold deposits exploration" by Matteo Oberto (first edition) is available in ebook version at:

Europe & world:

Ebook version



The aim of the guide is to provide readers with a practical and easy-to-read overview of the various topics covered, which were considered from the beginning as the main nodes of amateur prospecting activity (summarized in the index to bottom of this article). Note that compared to the book "Il manuale dell'oro" (for the moment just in italian), it offers to the public a more graphic imprint with the presence in the body of the text of a series of graphs, drawings by the author and graphic simplifications. The prospection for gold at an amateur level can sometimes have technical difficulties or due to lack of content on the part of the prospector. It was the primary goal, from the first page, to try to provide such useful content to readers in the simplest and most graphical form possible. In order to do this in the most performing manner we thank the suppliers of the physical and graphic contents (present in the thanks in this presentation article and in the work itself).

A detailed overview of complex alluvial pay streak: an example of the guide content.

The guide develops for a total length of about 180 pages, forming an overall work of rapid reading, easy to understand and useful in the field thanks to the format. It contains within it photographic and scientific contents explained in Italian. It can be a basis for anyone trying to undertake the hobby of searching for alluvial gold, forming at the same time a cultural baggage useful to continue with deepening.

Another example of description and focus on eluvial gold, present in the guide advertised.

We would like to thank all the people who have collaborated on the project, both committed to providing high quality content (textual and photographic) and helping the author to correct the guide and its publication.

In particular, we thank the main suppliers of photographic contents, fundamental for the genuineness of the contents that have been explained and deepened.

Rizzi G., for its considerable amount of information and photographic content and the availability of his works; The same photographs on the cover are by the primary author Oberto M. and by Rizzi G.

The other authors of the photographs: Baron P., Cirillo S., Castellacci A., Amelio A., Migliore C. and Calabrese L. We thank the authors of the youtube channels: vogus prospecting and Pioneer Pauly

We thank Ricca C. for the production of the guide cover and Rel T. & Quigley E. for the correction of the translation in the English version. The photos used on the cover are part of the repertoire of the author and of Rizzi G.

The range of enrichment: a focus on the possible space relations among primary deposits and secondary ones.


General index


1 - Primary and secondary gold deposits


   Secondary deposits: looking for secondary gold deposits 1

         Primary gold deposits (DAP) 2 - 8

         Exhumation and erosion 9

         The link between DAP and DAS 11

         Secondary gold deposits (DAS) 12

                Exogenous agents 13-15

                The chains of exogenous agents 16-17

                The exogenous agents and the change in the outcropping subsoil 18


 A rapid classification of DAS 19

       The DAS and the abbreviations 20

       Overall view of the placement of the DAS 21-22

                Eluvial DAS (DASe) 23-24

                Colluvial DAS (DASc) 26-27

                Minor stream DAS and major ones (DASf) 28-29

                                The range of gold enrichment 25


                Glacial and related DAS 30

                                Morphology of a valley glacier in short 31

                                Glacial till deposit 32

                                Example of morain deposit 33-37

                                A real example: the gold deposits of the Bessa (Italy) 36


                Landslide DAS and related DAS 37

                                The morphology of a landslide 38

                                Setting a surface hydrographic pattern 39

                                Classification of landslides 40


                Eolic and residual DAS 41-42

                Coastal DAS (DASco) 43

                               Wave development 44

                               Concentration by wave motion 45

                               DAScos and position with respect to the current sea level 46

                               Storms and the influence on the DASco 47

                               Transgression and marine ingression 48

                               The origin of gold in the DASco 49


                Paleoplacers 49

                               Witwatersrand 50


   Concluding remarks on the classifications 51



2- Gold and heavy minerals


Gold, density, color and chemical composition 52-53

Storing gold - containers 54

Gold and mercury - a close link 55-56

Dimension and morphology of heavy minerals & density 57

Gold concentrate and magnetite 58

Magnetite and anthropic waste 59-60

Proper separation of magnetite into a dry and granular concentrate 61

The problem of the measurement scale 62

Photographing your gold 63

Coin or squares? - Reference measurement scale 64

Gold and quartz 65

Gold - alloy elements - crystals included 66-67

Eluvial gold 68

The morphology of gold 69

Gold in threads - Twin gold 70

Gold size 71-73

Gold and precious stones 74

Gems and precious stones 75

Content of the batea - outline 76

Gold collection tools: aspirators 77


3- Where to find gold and how to extract it - River dynamics


General distribution of gold along a simple pay streak 79


   Enlargement of the river section 84

                         Simple pay streak 78

                         Complex pay streak 80-83

                         Inactive or hidden pay streak 85

                         Central pay streak 86-88

                          Density, erosion, transport, deposition 89

                          Notions of fluid dynamics and deposition of gold in alluvial contexts 90

                          Mode of transport of solid particles in watercourses 91-95

                          The role of shaking on the embricated clast structure in the enrichment of gold 96

                          Deepening on the core of a simple pay streak 97-98

                          The role of floods in the enrichment of the pay streaks 99

                          Examples of genesis of secondary alluvial 100

                          Second example of secondary gold enrichment by fluvial origin 101

                          Distribution of heavy minerals and not along a simple pay streak 102-103

                          Research and identification of auriferous pay streaks (outline)

                          Spotted prospecting 104-105

            What are the main components that I should look for? 106

                    Is it possible to pick gold out from other sediments by hand? 107

                    The concentration of big boulders 108

                    The prospect should be concentrated closer to bigger boulders 109

                             River traps: imbrication and natural traps 110-111


                    Superficial enrichment (surface flood enrichment)- an example 112

                    Simplified model of gold enrichment close boulders 113

                    Gold enrichment positions 114

                    Model for gold enrichment 115

                    Where can I find gold? 116

                    Front and posterior enrichment 117

                    Imbrications as local obstacles 118

                    Big obstacles 119-120

                    Pay attention to the superficial wash of light sediments 121

                    The presence and influence of bedrock 122

                        Detail of an alluvial altered deposit 123

                        Rivarolo (close Turin), a real example of clay bedrock 124

                        Simplified model of chronological events 125

                        Evidence of clay bedrock outcrop 126

                        Evidences  127-131

                        A few conclusions from real cases 132


4- Exploitation of gold sediments and restoration of the site


   The circular excavation 133-135

   Production - elements of exploitation - circular excavation 136

   The hole theory 137

   Some phases of the removal and washing of alluvial sediments 138

   Ideal working position 139

   Rectangular excavation 140-141

   Example of a rectangular exploitation 142-143

   Gold prospecting equipment 144

   The equipment 145

   Hand picking in a wet environment (gold fishing) 146

   Panning 147

   Crushing 148

   River sluicing 149

   The extraction phase 150

   The sieving phase 151-152

   Dry sieve - Inclined mesh 153-154

   Inclined nets – dry sieving 155

   The carriolbike and the dry sieving stage 156

   Carriolbike - Inclined sieve - dry sieving 157

   How to collect auriferous material and restore the site 158-159

    The choice of the most suitable tools 160

    Tools in comparison 161

    What do you have to bring to the river? 162

    The volume and weight of the tools for research and exploitation 163

    Accessibility to prospecting sites of equipment volume 164

    Shovels 165

    Tools for the recovery of gold sediments the be sieved 166

    Manual pumps - Bottom suction units 167

    Manual vacuum cleaners 168   



Craft sieves 169

    Amateur sieves and bucket sizes 170

    Basket sieve 171

    The sieve mesh and the gold 172

    Tool maintenance is important! 173

    Movement of classified sediment 174-175

    Excavation system - elements in the management of the excavation 176

    Means to move along the waterways: the Kayak 177-178

    Connections to the sluice - the roads or path 179


5- Use of the pan (panning)


   The panning 180 - 182

         The batea – the dish - the plate 183

         Choose the batea correctly 184

         The conical plate 185-187

         The trunk-conical pan 188

         The turbopan 189

         The competition plate 190-191

         The concentrator plate 192

         Eccentric concentrator plate 193-194

         The Japanese and Russian batea 195-196

         The oleggese trula 197

    Washing of gold sediments with the trunked-conic batea 198-202

         Gravitational physical concentration 203-204

         Finishing washing 205

         Washing of the concentrate 206

                  Gold extraction - Washing of concentrate 207

         Standard type finishing wash 208

         Rotary type finishing wash 209-211

         The trailing of waste - comet of concentrate 212

         Central type finishing wash 213

         The sluice cleaning 214

         Indoor washing - cleaning at home with a sluice system using water recirculation 215

         Example of slots with residual magnetite presence 216-217


6- Use of the sluice


   Sluice washing 218

   Structural and basic elements on the functioning of a sluice 219

           The altimetric agreement of the loading plan and the trap-ground 220

           The external inclination of the sluice 221

           Auxiliary structural elements and basic functioning of a sluice 222

           Dimensional parameters 223-225

           Sluices - choices 226

The sluice – the bottom 227

        Laminar motion and turbulent motion 228

        Overview of the functioning of an Hungarian riffle 229

        Riffles height - Comparison with boulders 230-234

        Riffles - main types 235

        Loading plan and traps 236

        Bottom traps simplified 237-239

        Steps - Riffles and expanded metal 240

        Modular rubber mats - The Gold Hog line 241-242

        3D design - Floor mats designed in the virtual ways 243-244

        Miner moss - the moss of the gold prospector - Carpets of capture 245-247

        What happens when the traps focus too much on the gold sediment? 248

        The concept of saturation: the example of the tram 249-251

        Riffles 252

        Heavy minerals in traps 253

        Sluice - initial trap – the spy 254

        The first trap 255


 Overview of the polycarbonate sluice 256

        Elements of a polycarbonate sluice 257-259

        Mats and fixing to the sluice 260

        Square cell rubber mats 261-262

        Polycarbonate as a structural material of the sluice 263

        Polycarbonate sluices 264


Positioning of the sluice – notes and principles 265-266

         Outdoor sluice - how to convey water 267

         The importance of the funnel 268

         The natural funnel - Preparation of the sluice 269

         Funnel dams - by funnel 270

         Funnel barriers - channel water into the instrument 271

         The position of the low velocity zone 272

         The ideal water level for the correct operation of the traps 273

                  A look at the speed variation 274

        The use of the bridge during the feeding phase 275-277

        The Dragonfly 278-282

        Functional diagram of the external sluice 283-288

   Amatorial Rocker 289

   Sluices with vertical extension 290

   External sluice - Manual water introduction - Upstream tank 291

   Sluices in pairs 292

   Saturation reduction - feeding technique 293

    Positioning and operation of riffles and traps 294

    The different traps or quarries, the recovery and concentration variable 295

    Positioning of the sluice along the mountain stream 296

    Loading phase 297

    Example of introduction of the gold sediment 298

    What happens on the loading plan 299

    Saturation and times of concentration 300

    Reduce saturation - Use of a comb 301

    The dispersion cloud 302-303

            The cleaning of sluice 304


7- Attachment: From the batea to the phial

8- Attachment: Recognize the gold we find

9- Bibliography and sitography




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